If you’ve already built a shed using our professional shed plans as a guide, you might be considering the extra touches that will help to add value to your project. In almost all cases, adding a shed ramp will be a necessary step. Although your shed might be accessible without one, a ramp will add safety, convenience, and a simple way to move heavier items without risking personal injury.
While there are many different ways to build a shed ramp, the fundamentals remain the same. Stringers, or support members, are secured to the face of the shed, below the door. These stringers run at a downward angle from the door opening to the ground, which determines the angle of the shed ramp. A suitable material, such as 5/4 decking boards, are then secured to the stringers to create the actual surface of the ramp.
Regardless of the ramp design, it’s recommended that pressure treated lumber or composite decking material be used for construction. Here are some additional details about how to build a shed ramp:
The Ledger Board.
The ledger board will be securely fastened to the face of the shed, below the door opening. This ledger will be used as a surface to fasten the required number of stringers. Once the ledger board as been installed, metal joist hangers can be used to support the stringers, or a smaller board can be fastened directly to the ledger that will support the stringers from underneath.
Stringers for your shed ramp should be pressure treated, 2″x4″ or 2″x6″ material, spaced at a maximum of 16″ on center. Angles for either end of the stringers may be determined by temporarily holding one stringer in place, and using a square to transcribe a pencil line to the material. Once a single stringer has been properly cut it can serve as a template for the remaining pieces. When determining your angle, it often helps to run a string from the finished shed floor, to the estimated base or beginning of your shed ramp.
Remember that when installing stringers onto the ledger, you will have to make allowances for the thickness of your deck boards or other finish material. This will ensure that your shed door will close, and that the decking will be flush with the shed floor.
Shed Ramp Base
The stringers for your shed ramp should rest on a solid base in order to provide stability and prolong the life of the ramp. Using concrete patio blocks placed on a base of crushed stone offers a simple solution. Once you have determined the bases location, dig a shallow hole roughly 4″ deep, compact the earth, cover with an even layer of crushed stone, and install and level the necessary number of patio blocks.
The best material to use when building your shed ramp, is standard 5/4″ pressure treated decking. This material will run parallel to the shed door, opposite of how your stringers were installed. Using traditional decking allows for drainage and helps to provide a solid surface. Use exterior decking screws to secure your 5/4″ material. While decking nails will do fine, screws will allow for easy disassemble if repairs become necessary.
Once you’ve completed building a shed ramp, it’s a good idea to apply self adhesive traction strips, or apply a coating which helps to create a no-slip surface.
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